Speech Notes

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Chapter 3
Speaking Confidently

I. Nervousness about public speaking is normal and widespread. A. Many celebrities and public figures admit to a fear of public speaking.

B. Many ordinary citizens place public speaking at or near the top of their lists of fears.

C. A clear majority of college students list fear of public speaking as their chief communication weakness. 1. James McCroskey’s Personal Report of Public Speaking Anxiety shows that nearly three-fourths of college students admit to high or moderately high anxiety about speaking in public. 2. McCroskey concludes that a fairly high degree of anxiety about public speaking is normal.

D. People experience and exhibit a range of internal and external responses to the stress of public speaking. 1. Chemically and physiologically, we experience stage fright in the same way. a. Adrenaline is released into the bloodstream. b. Respiration increases. c. Heart rate increases. d. Galvanic skin response increases.

2. Symptoms of stage fright can vary from person to person. a. Some people experience blushing, excessive perspiration shortness of breath, forgetfulness, or other symptoms. b. As uncomfortable as they can make you, these responses are normal and natural signs that your body is responding to the pressure of performing well.

II. Your objective should be control nervousness about speaking, not eliminate it.

A. Attempts to eliminate nervousness about public speaking are self-defeating for two reasons. 1. Some degree of nervousness is natural. a. Even very experienced speakers retain some degrees of nervousness. b. Dwelling on your nervousness can make you even…...

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